Care Guide Compass: Assess Your Care Needs

This section helps you assess your elder care needs and guides your long-term care plan. Specifically, our Care Guide Compass helps determine the appropriate options for care and associated costs based on your individual needs and ultimately, leads you down the right path for care.

Two pieces of information are required to ensure you receive the best guidance.

What we need from you: Please select the physical condition and cognitive level that best describes you (or another care seeker) via the drop-down menus presented below. To help determine the most accurate choice, see our descriptions that follow.

Physical levels:

Condition 1: Person functions independently but has minor limitations, such as limited mobility, limited range of motion, vision loss or pain that can make it difficult to perform certain activities. Requires someone present for activities like bathing and dressing–in case a need arises–and help with a few tasks.

Condition 2: Person relies on a cane or walker due to poor balance, vision loss, frailty, shortness of breath, weakness or other cause. Benefits from hands-on support for balance, and/or some guidance and assistance for some activities and tasks.

Condition 3: Person uses a wheelchair due to chronic pain, frailty, weakness, amputation, or other cause. Requires hands-on assistance and partial support of body weight for most activities and assistance with most tasks.

Condition 4: Person is bedridden due to extreme frailty caused by age or illness, neurological damage or paralysis. May be on a ventilator, receiving tube feeding, have a tracheotomy or at the end of life. Requires total assistance for care.

Cognition levels:

Level 1: Person shows signs of impairment that are noticeable to those who know him/her; forgets recent conversations and/or misplaces things. Planning and organizing are difficult. Requires some verbal cuing and encouragement for some activities and tasks.

Level 2: Person shows signs of impairment that are noticeable to everyone; forgets recent conversations and events and becomes easily confused. Requires verbal cuing, reminders, encouragement and assistance for many activities and tasks.

Level 3: Person shows significant signs of impairment, forgets people, personal history, language, becomes confused about time and place; has problems with personal hygiene, incontinence, and exhibits difficult behaviors, such as agitation, aggression, paranoia and wandering. Requires cuing, reminders, coaxing, redirection, and physical guidance for most activities and tasks.

Level 4: Person requires total assistance; cognitive impairment eventually affects physical functions and leads to death.